Research Summary: Using open-source data from the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), we analyze national- and state-level trends in fatal and non-fatal firearm assaults of U.S. police officers from 2014 to 2019 (N = 1,467). Results show (1) the majority of firearm assaults are non-fatal, (2) there is no compelling evidence that the national rate of firearm assault on police has substantially increased over the last six years, and (3) there is substantial state-level variation in rates of firearm assault on police officers. Policy Implications: GVA has decided strengths relative to existing data sources on police victimization and danger in policing. We consider the promises and pitfalls of this and other open-source datasets in policing research and recommend that recent state-level improvements in use-of-force data collection be replicated and expanded to include data on violence against police.
Replication files are available at the top of this page. All analyses were performed in Stata v15.1. For Figure 4, you will need to install Michael Stepner’s maptile and spmap commands.